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COVID wreaks havoc on high school football

Moniteau, SR, Butler affected

Here we go again.

Moniteau's home football game against Central Clarion Friday night has been canceled. Slippery Rock is playing an originally non-scheduled opponent for the second successive week.

Butler's scheduled game at Erie Friday night is in jeopardy following a couple of positive tests on the Golden Tornado team.

COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on high school football again.

“This is just very, very frustrating,” Butler athletic director Bill Mylan said. “I know health and safety have to come first. But this is the third straight school year where our athletes have been affected.

“It's getting to be pretty hard to deal with.”

Butler did not practice Monday after the test results came out. The Tornado held virtual meetings instead and may not be able to practice Tuesday.

“We just go day to day right now,” Butler football coach Eric Christy said. “We're planning on practicing Tuesday unless our administration tells us we can't.

“We're planning on traveling to Erie Friday unless we're told we can't. There are no rules in place as to how many days you have to practice before you can play, but realistically, you need some time to adequately prepare. Hopefully, we'll get that.”

Mylan said he may know as early as Tuesday whether Butler will be playing on Friday.

Positive tests and quarantine issues among its students are preventing Moniteau from playing this Friday.“The kids aren't happy about it, but they understand it,” Moniteau coach Bob Rottman said. “We have to go through proper protocol, that's all.“I'm confident this is just a one-week thing and we'll be back in business next week.”Moniteau hopes to reschedule the game later in the season.

Slippery Rock coach Larry Wendereusz is preparing himself for a roller coaster-type of football season. His team has already endured schedule changes in both of the first two weeks.The Rockets were scheduled to open the 2021 season at home last Friday against Fort LeBoeuf. The latter had a COVID-19 issue develop Thursday and had to opt out.When Central Clarion's opening opponent — Punxsutawney — also had to cancel because of COVID-19, Central Clarion and Slippery Rock played each other.Punxsutawney is scheduled to host Karns City this Friday night.“We sent out emails and social media posts Thursday night into Friday looking for an opponent,” Wendereusz said. “Unfortunately, I think that's the way this season is going to go. Week to week, you never know.”Slippery Rock was scheduled to play at Mercyhurst Prep this Friday night. Mercyhurst had to cancel because of COVID-19, but the Rockets already had Sharpsville sitting on the back burner.Slippery Rock is now playing at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sharpsville.“Last year, we had restrictions on so many things,” Wendereusz said. “Going into this year, it was like, it's fine, let's get back to normal.“We go back to normal and things are happening. Things aren't normal yet. There is still protocol that needs to happen.”

Freeport had some positive COVID tests in its school district Monday, but the Yellowjackets' game Friday night at Knoch remains a go.“I think there was only one positive test in their high school,” Knoch coach Brandon Mowry said. “We haven't had any issues at Knoch. We just keep knocking on wood and keep on going.“Our kids really want to play football. They're doing everything we ask. Some wear masks to school, some don't. Masks are optional here, and that's fine. Social distancing is still in place, and our kids have been serious about that.”Christy said he feels for the student-athletes.“The kids are just confused right now,” the Butler coach said. “It's hard for them to determine what's right, what's wrong, what's OK, what's not OK ... they want to do right by their community, but they don't want to miss out on their childhood experiences, either.“It's sad.”